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LIFE OF CRABBE.
ALTHOUGH the Rev. George Crabbe is known to the present generation as the associate of Moore, Rogers, Scott, and other modern poets, it is now a century since he first saw the light, having been born in the small fishing town of Aldborough, on the coast of Suffolk, on the 24th of December 1754. His father was the collector of salt dues, and keeper of a miscellaneous store, a man of rough manners, and in later life severe temper, but of vigorous mind; and as his custom of reading Milton and Young to his family in the winter evenings indicates, with some literary predilections. His mother was a woman of genuine piety, whose instructions and examplewere the principal means of forming his moral character. Young George's early taste for learning, and inaptitude for the rougher employment in which his brothers were proficient, led his father to give bim a superior education to the rest of his family. For mathematics, in which also his father excelled, he had a decided taste. He made also some proficiency in Latin, and acquired as much knowledge of the ordinary branches of education, as will qualify any one who has a love of literature, to prosecute his studies independently. It being determined to make him a surgeon.
he was sent as an apprentice, when fourteen years of age, to a druggist in a small village near Bury St Edmunds, with whom he remained for three years, more as farmservant, however, than apothecary. A better situation was found for him when he was seventeen years old, with Mr Page, surgeon at Woodbridge, a few miles from Aldborough. Here, a growing acquaintance with his profession, congenial society, and, above all, the
presence of a Miss Sarah Flmy, to whom he was subsequently married, and in praise of whom his muse first unfolded her wings, made his residence highly agreeable. Here, also, he first became an author, having published a small volume or pamphlet, containing about three hundred lines, on inebriety, which excited no notice.
His apprenticeship ended, it was necessary to proceed to London to complete his studies, but his father's circumstances were inadequate to the expense, and he was compelled for several months to assist him in the drudgery of the warehouse, a kind of employment which his natural inclination, and the recent society with which he had mingled, rendered peculiarly distasteful. At length means were found to send him to London, where he remained a few months, picking up a little knowledge of medicine, but from limited resources unable to pursue any regular course of study. On his return he became assistant to a Mr Maskill, with whom he spent a few wretched months ; nor was his condition much improved when he set up business on his own account ; for with a scanty acquaintance with his profession, and a nature sensitive and conscientious, he trembled lest he should be called upon to operate in cases beyond his skill. A small practice among the poor, where the remuneration was so scanty as scarcely to afford the means of bare existence, drove him to a very bold and hazardous experiment. He determined to pro